HC Deb 16 February 1953 vol 511 cc861-2
14. Mr. Nabarro

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power in view of the widespread complaints in regard to the inclusion of stone, slate and other deleterious matter in house-coal supplies, whether he will give a general direction to the National Coal Board under Section 3 of the Coal Industry Nationalisation Act, 1946, to take steps to extract such material and raise the quality of house coal and include only combustible material.

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd

I appreciate my hon. Friend's concern about this and I can assure him that the National Coal Board are taking these complaints seriously. I am informed that they have a large number of coal cleaning plants under construction at present.

Mr. Nabarro

Will my right hon. Friend consider the petition I sent to him from residents in Peel Street, Kidderminster. who include many old age pensioners, and who submitted concrete evidence of stones, slate, rock and other deleterious material? As there is no protection at all for these poor people, surely representations ought to be made to the Coal Board that they should try to improve this very anxious state of affairs.

Mr. Lloyd

I entirely agree. The coal cleaning plant under construction will have a further capacity, in addition to the present capacity, of 32 million tons.

Mr. D. Griffiths

Will the right hon. Gentleman tell the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) and also the general public that the fact is that the clean mine seams were worked by his friends and that now, with the advent of machine mining, we are bound to get much more dirt?

Mr. Lloyd

I think it is true that the British miners are now having to work more difficult seams and that mechanisation produces more of this stone in the coal. That makes it all the more important that there should be an abundant supply of coal cleaning plant available.

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